"It profits me but little that a vigilant authority always protects the tranquillity of my pleasures and constantly averts all dangers from my path, without my care or concern, if this same authority is the absolute master of my liberty and my life."

--Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Defense Cuts

Because of our federal government's inability to control spending on entitlements, we are now faced with huge cuts to our defense budgets, cuts that will inevitably make us weaker, more vulnerable, less able to project force, and more likely to be targeted by terrorists.   This is a disaster, and it's entirely self-imposed:
The Strategic Choices and Management Review did not produce a detailed budget blueprint. That was not the purpose of this review. It generated a menu of options, not a set of decisions, built around three potential budget scenarios:
• The President’s FY 2014 budget, which incorporates a carefully calibrated and largely back-loaded $150 billion reduction in defense spending over the next ten years;  
• The Budget Control Act’s sequester-level caps, which would cut another $52 billion from defense in fiscal year 2014, with $500 billion in reductions for the DoD over the next ten years;  
• An “in-between” scenario that would reduce defense spending by about $250 billion over the next ten years, but would be largely back-loaded.
It is important to remember that all these cuts are in addition to the $487 billion reduction in defense spending over the next decade required by the initial caps in the Budget Control Act of 2011 which DoD has been implementing. If sequester-level cuts persist, DoD would experience nearly a trillion dollars in defense spending reductions over the next ten years.
Meanwhile, let's just keep focusing on Anthony Weiner.   Yeah, that's the ticket.   It's not like there aren't real, looming debacles on the horizon.   It's not like we don't live in a very very dangerous world.

Gibbon seems apropos about now:

“In the end, more than freedom, they wanted security. They wanted a comfortable life, and they lost it all – security, comfort, and freedom. When the Athenians finally wanted not to give to society but for society to give to them, when the freedom they wished for most was freedom from responsibility, then Athens ceased to be free and was never free again.”

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